Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I came upon (what I believe is) a good idea for future posts about movies. Yes, I know, more dreaded film posts. It's between those and general ranting that you actually get posts on somewhat interesting topics, I know, but I much prefer writing about movies.

Anyway, during yet another deathly-boring tutorial where it was dominated by the woman who thinks she knows everything (and, as a result, is extremely condescending in the way she talks to people), a man who likes to come off as smart to impress those of the opposite sex (though where knowledge of 1500s Europe ranks on the 'hotness' scale I have no idea) and the mature student who really does know the right answers, but feels so awkward and out of place that she hardly speaks up and have twenty-odd pairs of working eyes staring at her, I had an idea. I think it was between Vittoria and Native American's possession of their lands that I thought wouldn't it be cool if my favourite movies could fight to the death to see which was the greatest of all! Then my mind ran wild with ideas of Darth Vader heading the meeting in the secret war room during Dr. Strangelove, or Natalie 'Queen Amidala' Portman vs. Natalie 'Sam' Portman.

Of course, my thoughts digressed when it came to two Natalie Portmans, then further when Audrey Tautou got involved ...

Ok, getting back on topic, I thought that it would be pretty cool if I could invent some way to compare, contrast and show down the movies. So I scribbled down two types of, I don't know, maps?, diagrams at least, that I wrote down the similarities of the two films then, exercising the rigorous scientific methods of this idea, put a plus or two next to the film that did that similarity best. I then went and did the same to the differences, weighing up which difference made which film the better of the two. Then, come time to write it all up as a post, I'll outline how the two films are similar or different, then why which film got the plus. At the end, I'll add up the pluses, and if there were any minuses subtract those (such is the extent of my mathematics education), and then we will have an ultimate winner!

Ok, it probably sounds ridiculously confusing without seeing something on paper. However, because I like this idea, I'm going to go ahead and do it for a couple of pairings that I already thought of:

Of course, those are only six of the (figurative) endless films I've seen. And those are all from my "Top 10 List" to the right there. I'm happy to do other films that I've seen as well, or seek out films that I should have seen (after all, I do call myself a well-viewed film connoisseur) .


Everyone loses. You lose, I lose, that weird guy down the street growing marijuana in his roof loses. We all lose. I guess that makes us all losers by the fault. Which would generally be a bad thing.

Well, I've never seen a film make such a compelling case to make the viewers want to be losers than this one. The message I suspect they are trying to get across is that it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, it's the actual journey of getting to the end, how you come to your result, that only matters. So, if you're honest to yourself, true to everyone around you, believe in yourself and not worry about what anyone else is thinking about you, then no matter if you are the winner or the loser, you really are the moral winner.

Little Miss Sunshine has a deceptive title. Everyone remembers the Little Miss books from their childhood (if you're young enough). They are happy little children's books with little to no substance between the pages other than colourful pictures and basic sentences. Got it? Ok, now dispell that notion because Little Miss Sunshine is extremely deep, packed with moral, ethical and personal questions, all thrown at you with the use of adult humour and a fantastic script. Not to mention delivered by the best assortment of character actors I've seen in the past year. I need not sing the praises of Steve Carrol; the comedic genius from The Daily Show a while ago, and of late, the US series of The Office (which a regular reader will know, I rate as one of the best).

Forgetting about the acting for now, because the movie is much more juicier than just that, what you have in this film is an M-rated positivity message that should be shown through schools. Of course, you'd have to hope that the kids can cope with the hilarious scenes, especially where the grandfather Edwin (the Academy Award winning role of Alan Arkin) tells his grandson to "Fuck a lot of women, not just one. A lot of women.", and scene after scene showing failure after failure of each character. Because that's how it goes down: each and every character fails in what they are trying to do except for one. And when the success of the one occurs, it brings the rest of the family together to rejoice and enjoy the moment in the spotlight.

So, while the whole family ends up being a loser in their endeavours, they all discover a whole new side to themselves - strength and character - and it's this process that is so entertaining, hilarious and moving for the audience that makes this film so damn good.

In other words: go see Little Miss Sunshine.


Why? I don't remember the Queen ever having a slave running around for her. Especially since she was born ... wait for it ... 88 years after slavery was abolished within the British Empire! Yes, I know that the Slave Trade Act of 1807 is marked as 'the end' of the slave trade, but let's be serious here, slave traders were only being fined £100 for every slave they had - hardly a serious deterrent. It was in 1834 that all slaves were 'freed', and in 1838 released from a system which was slavery by every other name.

Don't get me wrong, I like to remind Poms that, while celebrating their "We got rid of slavery!" parties, that their country was the one that started the whole modern slave trade in the first place. But I don't expect anyone to have to apologise for it. After all, what did the Queen do? Hell, that dude might as well apologise to me for, say, saying that their country has a good cricket team and that the 05/06 Ashes Series would be the best ever.


If I had stayed up to watch the cricket last night/this morning, stayed up to watch all the cricket, half of which ended up being rained off, I'd be pissed off. Hold on a second ... I did stay up to watch the cricket! And I am pissed off!

So now the West Indies are batting tonight - an innings that will go un-televised! So I got to watch Australia bat (something I know isn't their weak side) and miss their bowling (something I want to see if they (the selectors) have fixed). Far out Brussel sprout. Thank-you Channel 9 once again for ruining television once more.

And who gives a stuff about this bloody swimming!? Seriously, that is so 2000 Olympics. Can't we just pretend it's not happening and watch more cricket? Even if it's two minnow teams like India and Pakistan playing against each other. Because only minnow teams go out in the first round ...


Monday, March 26, 2007

You will note that I didn't comment, nor even reference, the N.S.W. elections that came and went slower than a turtle on dope. That's because, well, I frankly couldn't give two hoots about what happened. Sure, I'm a politics fanatic, love the stuff, but that wasn't politics. That election, the way it played out, the whole deal, was just pathetic, abysmal and boring. Iemma and Debnam are up there among the most boring, incompetent and unelectable person to ever lead a party.

So, to keep with tradition, I'm not going to talk about the N.S.W. election any more. It's been done to death by a million other people. Besides, it gives me a chance to refocus my attention on Rudd running wild all over the Liberals and Nationals. Go Rudd!


Sunday, March 25, 2007

So here's what's going to happen. Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, England and Ireland are the final eight in the cricket World Cup. Ok, so Bangladesh isn't a part yet, but all they have to do is beat Bermuda to keep India out.

Out of these eight, my pick for the final four are Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa. There are only two possibilities for change: England (who I suspect will do a soccer World Cup and bomb, though they could surprise) and Sri Lanka (who just don't have the edge that the other five teams have). Either West Indies or South Africa are the two that could be left out for sake of England and Sri Lanka in my opinion.

I can't pick how the final four will go down until I see the draw. While I think Australia will get through with the most wins, the others are just too hard to pick. Ireland and Bangladesh are given victories to all the six real teams, England is a victory for Australia and New Zealand at the least, and Sri Lanka in the same boat there. The only question is will the "World #1's" of South Africa (and it's only a hollow title while you're not either the reigning World Champions, a part of the Ashes competition or Australia) fire up, and West Indies keep up their moderate-good performance to get enough wins.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bad News: Woolmer was murdered

Good News: Pakistan is out of the Cricket World Cup

Great News: India is 99% out of the Cricket World Cup

Strand-of-hope News: England could go out of the Cricket World Cup


Sunday, March 18, 2007

I've added a new element to my page on the right hand side over there, and for good cause which I will get to soon. It's a list of the last five movies I saw, so that I, and you, can keep track of what it is I'm doing. Of course, it's the last five new movies I saw. I'm not about to put in that I watched Donnie Darko for the umpteenth time a couple of days ago.

Now, the whole reason that I put that there was so that I could inconspicuously lead into a post about the latest movie I saw, The Last Kiss. I finally saw this last night after waiting the excruciating months between the release here and the release in the United States. Why was it an excruciating wait? Because it was reported to be a fantastic movie! And if you are one who doesn't take to other people's reviews of films (in which case you've probably stopped reading by now) then having the Hollywood golden boy, Zach Braff, in the film would be selling point enough, right? Wrong. Rachel Bilson, formerly of The O.C. fame, makes her film debut, with force.

I've only seen this film the once, so giving any sort of in-depth review would in no way do it justice. Instead, I'll just say that Zach Braff appears to be unable to anything wrong. Scrubs still goes strong (when most other shows are struggling to keep their viewer base). Garden State still stands the test of time. And now The Last Kiss. I originally said that Kiss was no State, but I think if I had second and subsequent viewings, it could be treated with the same esteem I give State.

Either way, The Last Kiss comes highly recommended from me. Go see it. The acting is superb, the whole plot, the development, and certainly the script is without a doubt up among the best of this year. But of all time? I'll have to see it a few more times to make that call.


Friday, March 09, 2007

I have, for those who may be interested (and I have a feeling there won't be a whole lot of you), put up a few of my favourite photos from my trip (seventeen I believe) into my DeviantArt account gallery.


A mere seventeen from the 750+ that I took ...


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ok, gather round fellow readers and I might relate to you yet another narcissistic story, only this time, with a new setting. No, I am not here to critique CityRail (though I could readily do that, trust me), or rip on the hallowed and prestigious University of Sydney (also something I could easily do), I'm writing, rather, about a little trip a trophy took to the other side of the world.

Yes, on my journey, I took with me The 18 Cup, with permission of course, in order to photograph it at all the landmarks/tourist spots/points of interest that I stumbled upon. These ranged across seven different countries, from London to Galipoli, Singapore to Venice and Krakow to Hong Kong. Of course, there was nothing to take pictures of in Hong Kong as, no doubt, Communism has killed off everything except slave labour and their own economy. Singapore too was a bit bare, but I took the obligatory photos there.

So, tracking my progress through my holiday, the first stop was Singapore, followed by England, then Turkey, and Poland, with the last significant photos in Italy. The points of interest for these places are as followed:

Italy (Venice):
Italy (Florence):
Italy (Naples);
Italy (Rome):
And, if you had the patience and want to click each of those links, you would have found, yes, the photos. Apologies for being in some of them; I know that I make an awful photo, it's nothing new. Anyways, as is evident, The Cup has done quite a tour and, it should be known, went international after an impromptu defense in England against two Pom poker players. Without worry or second thought, the current champion stepped up, won, and became the first international champion to see the record books. Of course, some have raised the question "What if you lost?", which is simply like asking "When will Gilchrist bowl?": it's just not happening.

As a side note, the prize pool for the night was two pounds per player (to keep in line with the Australian rules, standards and regulations for The 18 Cup tournament).

I should also warn any 18 Cup players that should they travel abroad or be approached by tourists who, for some strange reason, think they are nationally and internationally renowned for their elite and masterful poker skills that they go along with the ride, lest I be found out to be lying! So I might have embellished some truths ... well, I certainly wouldn't have been lying about myself when I said some of the things anyway.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Went to post ... jetlag kicked in ... now I'm not posting.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Things I learned from my trip:

- The free Internet-enabled computers at Singapore Airport are no good for posting comments on blogs
- Istanbul sucks
- Don't walk into a British pub and say "Who wants to drink!"

Yes I have returned, triumphant and victorious. Alas, my chariot broke down, so I had to hitch a ride with Qantas, but none the less, I'm here in one piece.

Which is slightly better than The 18 Cup is, let me tell you.

While on my gallivant around the world I thought up quite a few interesting blog posts, then drowned some of them in beer, then started to think of them again, and to make sure I didn't forget them again (because the drinking never really stopped) I wrote them down. The last thing I wrote was on a Qantas napkin, and it's quite full. So rest assured, along with the boring, long and somewhat uninteresting stories that you get with a Jet-setter, you'll get the standard, boring, long and somewhat uninteresting blog posts that you get with this Jet-setter.

However, not tonight. Yesterday's thirty-six hour day has knocked the wind out of me, and it seems that tonight and my return to university tomorrow will be used to catch up on sleep. Damn jet-lag.